The Scientists and Scholars

Prof. Leticia Aviles

Prof. Leticia Aviles (University of British Columbia, Canada) focuses her research on the evolution of sociality, the evolution of sex ratios in subdivided populations, and the evolution of life history traits and local population dynamics in metapopulations. She has published in a variety of journals including Evolution, Ecology and American Naturalist.

Prof. William H. Calvin

Prof. William H. Calvin (University of Washington, USA) is a theoretical neurobiologist and the author of a dozen books, mostly for general readers, about brains and evolution including. A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond (Oxford, 2004)., His book with Derek Bickerton, Lingua ex Machina: Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky with the Human Brain (MIT, 2000) is about the evolution of structured language..

Prof. Daniel C. Dennett

Prof. Daniel C. Dennett (Tufts University, USA) is a noted philosopher whose research focuses on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology. He is the author of over a dozen books including Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (Simon & Schuster, 1995). He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Science. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987.

Dr. Kevin de Queiroz

Dr. Kevin de Queiroz (Smithsonian Institution, USA) is a Research Zoologist and Curator at the National Museum of Natural History. His current research centers on the phylogenetic relationships of various groups of lizards. He is also interested in phylogenetic nomenclature, and is the co-originator of the somewhat controversial PhyloCode which could replace Linnaean taxonomy.

Dr. Niles Eldredge

Dr. Niles Eldredge (American Museum of Natural History) is a paleontologist and curator of the American Museum of Natural History. He is the co-discoverer with Stephen Jay Gould of the theory of punctuated equilibria, a milestone in evolutionary theory. His specialty is the evolution of trilobites. His books include Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life (WW Norton, 2005), Why We Do It: Rethinking Sex and the Selfish Gene (WW Norton, 2004) and The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism (Holt, 2000).

Prof. Douglas Futuyma

Prof. Douglas Futuyma (Stony Brook University – State University of New York, USA) is author of the popular textbooks: Evolutionary Biology (Sinauer Associates, 3 editions), Evolution (Sinauer Associates, 2005, 2009) and Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution (Sinauer Associates, 1982, 1995. His research concerns the evolution of interactions between herbivorous insects and their host plants and the speciation of insects. He is the editor of Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics and has been the editor of Evolution. He has been president of the Society for the Study of Evolution and the American Society of Naturalists from which he received the Sewall Wright Award. He was made a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006.

Prof. Pierre-Henri Gouyon

Prof. Pierre-Henri Gouyon (Université Paris-Sud, France) is recognized for his work on evolution and genetics. He is co-author of Gene Avatars: the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution (Belin, 1996; English translation, Springer, 2002). He is the subject of a film by Nicholas Ribowski entitled Pierre-Henri Gouyon: génétique et evolution. (2005). He is a professor at the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle de Paris and at Sciences Po, Paris (École libre des sciences politiques) and managing editor of the European Society of Biological Evolution’s Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

Prof. Peter Grant and Prof. Rosemary Grant

Prof. Peter Grant (Princeton University, USA) and Prof. Rosemary Grant (Princeton University, USA) are widely known for their remarkable long-term studies of over 35 years which demonstrate evolution in action on Darwin’s finches on the Galápagos Islands. In 2005 they received the Balzan Prize for Population Biology which praises their “seminal influence in the fields of population biology, evolution and ecology.” In 2008 Peter and Rosemary Grant were among the thirteen recipients of the Darwin-Wallace Medal, which is presented every 50 years by the Linnean Society of London. In 2009 they were recipients of the annual Kyoto Prize in basic sciences, an international award honoring significant contributions to the scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of mankind.

Prof. Laura Katz

Prof. Laura Katz (Smith College, USA) researches the eukaryotic tree of life, the phylogeography of coastal ciliates and genome evolution in microbial eukaryotes. She is the editor of the book Genomics and Evolution of Microbial Eukaryotes (Oxford, 2006) and was associate editor for the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution (2003 – 2008). She was on the scientific advisory board for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) when it was newly-formed (2005-2007). In addition to teaching at Smith she is on the graduate faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Prof. Antonio Lazcano

Prof. Antonio Lazcano (Universidad Autónoma de México, Mexico) is a leading scholar in the study of the origin of and early evolution of life and is the author of El origen de la vida (The Origin of Life) (1984). He is the first Latin American scientist to have served as president of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life (ISSOL).

Prof. Lynn Margulis

Prof. Lynn Margulis (University of Massachusetts-Amherst, USA) is renowned for her original contributions to the study of microbial evolution and cell biology. She is best known for her theory on the origin of eukaryotic organelles, and her contributions to the endosymbiotic theory. Dr. Margulis has contributed to James E. Lovelock’s Gaia concept. Yale ecologist G. E. Hutchinson credits her with creating a “quiet revolution in microbiological thought.” She received the National Medal of Science from President Clinton and Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Prize. In 2008 she was one of only thirteen recipients of the Darwin-Wallace Medal, which is granted every 50 years by the Linnean Society of London. She has co-authored a number of books with her son Dorion Sagan including Symbiotic Planet: A new look at evolution (Basic Books, 1998) and Acquiring Genomes: A theory of the origins of species (Basic Books, 2002),.

Prof. Geoff McFadden

Prof. Geoff McFadden (University of Melbourne, Australia) studies protists (eukaryotic microorganisms) and endosymbiosis. He has identified the relict chloroplast in malaria parasites and is developing herbicides as antimalarial drugs. He has published in journals such as Nature, Science, EMBO J, and PNAS. Prof. McFadden has been awarded among others the Australian Academy of Science’s Frederick White Prize, two Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar’s awards, the Royal Society of Victoria Medal, and is a member of the Australian Academy of Sciences. Geoff surfs as much as he can.

Prof. Richard Michod

Prof. Richard Michod (University of Arizona, USA) researches the evolution of interactions within populations, particularly cooperative interactions and conflict. He has specifically examined the evolution of sex, origin of individuality, origin of life, and the evolution of social behavior. He has written Darwinian Dynamics (Princeton, 1999), Eros and Evolution, A Natural Philosophy of Sex (Addison Wesley, 1995), as well as edited books on the evolution of sex and human values.

Prof. Joan Roughgarden

Prof. Joan Roughgarden (Stanford University, USA) currently focuses her research on linking ecology with economic theory. Her books, which have generated debate in the scientific community, include The Genial Gene: Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness (Univ. California Press, 2009), Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist (Island Press, 2006) and Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People (Univ. California Press, 2004, 2009).

Prof. Frank Sulloway

Prof. Frank Sulloway (University of California-Berkeley, USA) has written about the nature of scientific creativity and published extensively on the life and theories of Charles Darwin. He is a Visiting Scholar in the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley. His book Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (1979) received the Pfizer Award of the history of Science Society. Dr. Sulloway is a former MacArthur Fellow, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.